On the surface, it’s easy to think route optimisation is simply about speed. However, the advantages route optimisation can bring you are actually far more nuanced. The thing is, these additional benefits aren’t always obvious at first glance.
Yes, it’s true that optimised routing will determine the most cost-efficient route for your deliveries. But that’s not just about getting your drivers from A to B via the quickest possible route.
Instead, top route optimisation software needs to consider multiple wider factors. Weather conditions, vehicle capacity and availability, delivery time windows, driver shifts and more can all come into play. Likewise, the volume and weight of each order. And the relative geographical locations of your vehicles, depots and delivery addresses.
With added stops, your possible routes also increase exponentially:
- 3 stops = 6 possible routes
- 4 stops = 24 possible routes
- 5 stops = 120 possible routes
- 7 stops = 5k+ possible routes
- 10 stops = 3m+ possible routes
So, even for companies with smaller delivery volumes, it’s easy to see why sophisticated route optimisation software is a key asset.
Rapidly, the capabilities of Excel and Google maps won’t cut it anymore! The solution lies in implementing route optimisation software that can compute and adapt to evolving factors. What’s more, top route optimisation platforms will enhance your deliveries beyond the obvious benefit of added speed.
Let’s explore how…
1. Increased customer satisfaction
Quality route optimisation software enables you to provide the delivery time accuracy your customers want. Adaptively managing the relevant data, from weather to drivers’ rest breaks, a route optimisation tool sets your deliveries up to arrive right on time.
With real-time notifications, you can make the delivery experience as convenient as possible. Prioritising customer experience during your final touchpoint — delivery — is vital. This creates a positive, full-circle interaction with your brand. Supporting you to grow and maintain all-important customer loyalty!
So how does route optimisation software achieve this adaptive accuracy? AI and ML components enable leading routing engines to learn from previous deliveries. They evolve and adapt based on this historical data, ensuring added precision in future deliveries. A key factor here is service time. In other words, how long does it actually take a driver to deliver a package once they’re at an address? This depends, again, on multiple factors: parking availability nearby, if there’s a building entry code, etc. A top route optimisation tool will learn from these added minutes, factoring them into future planning. This enables you to ensure the reality-based accuracy that customers value.
2. Enhanced driver experience
Beyond elevating customer satisfaction, sophisticated route optimisation tools can improve your drivers’ daily experience. How? Top software can factor in driving conditions and real-life service times. This ensures drivers have sufficient time for stress-free deliveries at each address. Say there’s a complex entry route into the building. Or an especially slow lift. Whatever the situation, the software is able to build in the buffer minutes needed. All so your drivers can deliver comfortably and punctually.
Intelligent route optimisation platforms also ensure your drivers get their well-deserved breaks. Top route optimisation tools can plan routes around shifts and required rest stops, ensuring driver welfare is prioritised — not lost in an algorithm.
3. Streamlining fuel and driver costs
Across fuel and drivers, route optimisation tools enhance your delivery cost-effectiveness. Firstly, you can calculate the minimum routes needed to make all your stops. As a result, you’re optimising the number of drivers out per day. Secondly, you’re ensuring each route is as short as possible. This helps streamline both driver shift hours and fuel usage per route. There’s a clear environmental benefit here, too. Less fuel use reduces emissions, lowering your carbon footprint.
In addition, route optimisation software will usually centralise your route planning. This enables you to retain (real-time) overview and manage your drivers’ daily routes. As a result, you can ensure they’re as time-smart and fuel-efficient as they can be.
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It’s easy to get started with Gordon Tech. With an intuitive interface, manuals, and standard configurations – we help you streamline and digitalize your deliveries within a week.
4. Capacity planning for enhanced efficiency
Your deliveries likely cover a range of items, volumes, weights, dimensions and cargo requirements. Route optimisation platforms can take all these factors into account. That way, they can facilitate your planning based on both delivery cargo and your available vehicle fleet.
Take wholesale companies, for example. Average orders might range from 400kg to 850kg — a significant difference. Some might need refrigerated transport while standard vehicles will work fine for others. To gauge how many orders can fit in each truck, for each route, capacity planning is crucial. A smart route optimisation tool will enable this. Plus, it will simultaneously optimise efficiency (across fuel and drivers) by ensuring each vehicle runs as full to capacity as it can.
5. Less busywork for your logistics team
With the right route optimisation software, you can wave goodbye to plugging data into Excel and maps. Instead, your logistics brains can simply enter projected deliveries, driver and fleet availability, etc. into your software. Then, they’ll get an optimised route back in just minutes or hours. And if your route optimisation software enables presets for your fleet, drivers, and so on? Then this process becomes even quicker!
With an integral route optimisation platform, your key processes all happen in the same place. From delivery data input, to route calculations, to driver communications. It’s a single platform for your end-to-end logistics.
That means no more time-consuming, error-prone imports and exports. Handily, this brings multiple benefits. For example, you can eliminate the risk of data loss. You can also catch that handful of orders that sometimes fall off the radar. And you can fix changes of plan that previously haven’t made it to your drivers in time. All this creates a real time-saver… Stopping your logistics team from getting old and grey with stress!
Plus, implementing an all-in-one route optimisation platform increases your delivery operation’s transparency. Firstly, having your data in one location ensures total traceability. Secondly, it enables easy amendments and updates.
Explore Gordon’s route optimisation software
We’ll admit it: seven years ago, we were planning daily delivery routes on a whiteboard in our lunchroom.
How times have changed…
Now, we’re leveraging AI and ML to constantly evolve our route optimisation algorithm. All to support our clients with efficient, cost-effective and climate-conscious deliveries, day in and day out. Plus the punctuality and real-time updates that their end customers want to see!
Ready to up your delivery game? Find out more about our platform here, or get in touch with our team directly.